Tesla showed off the Model X, which is said to blend the qualities of a sport utility vehicle and a minivan in an all-electric car that's targeted to hit the streets in 2014. The car's "falcon wing" doors use a hinge between the glass roof panel and the side, allowing them to open up but not out. (Source: Tesla Motors)
Cabe, a few years ago, Consumer Reports had a media day where they displayed electric cars, hybrids and other alternative power sources for autos. The biggest crowd of reporters -- by far -- was around a guy who had converted a single DeLorean from a gasoline- to a battery-powered drivetrain.
Awesome coverage. If I had the money I would buy a De Lorean. The body made out stainless steel (“Stains less”) would make for a better lifetime usage. Plus it is a classic, timeless body shape in my opinion. Anyone with one is sure to be a hit everywhere they go.
I don't know who keeps the concept cars. I just know it isn't me. A few years ago (okay, maybe more than a few years ago), I had the opportunity to drive a concept vehicle at a Pontiac longlead event, and I hit a speed bump a little too fast. I thought the engineer was going to throttle me. It might be my imagination, but I don't think they want to me to get close to the concept cars anymore.
The automakers do have some good technical innovations, tmash. Unfortunately, the Auto Show isn't a great place to do a deep technical dive. There were some pretty good innovations in engines, and we'll be covering those over the next couple of weeks for the engineers like yourself who are looking for a little more meat.
Have to agree. Concept vehicles used to be visionary (like the BMW "Gina"). Now they are pre-production advertisements for the marketing guys to gauge responses. If something is deemed 'ugly' or 'weird' then the vision is scrapped and the dull lines of the contemporary are used.
Where are the rocket cars, fusion powered autos, and the transforming vehicles? When gull wing doors on an SUV wow people, then we have not really seen anything new!
Actually, Al, I do have a technology that I thought was most interesting. This year, it's the engines. In the Silverado slide, you might note that I mentioned three new engines from GM (one of which is also in the Corvette). I think we'll be seeing a face-off between Ford and GM in this arena: Ford with its turbocharged EcoBoost engines and GM with its small block engines. The fuel efficiency numbers aren't in yet, but I find it interesting that the big automakers are investing in engine technology as we begin to glimpse the 54.5-mpg mandate on the horizon.
Tesla Motors’ $35,000, 200-mile electric car may not revolutionize the auto industry by itself, but it could serve as a starting point for a long, steady climb to a day when half of the world’s vehicles will be plug-ins.
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